Teen paints mural for local business

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Lorah Beth Currin, 16, works on a painting outside of The New Team Insurance Services on Sunday.


Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A once-empty building on Sunset Avenue has probably caught the attention of passing motorists.

That’s because of a mural being painted by a local high school student.

Lorah Beth Currin, 16, a junior at Faith Christian School, has been hard at work for the past few weeks painting several designs on the new building of The New Team Insurance Services/Code 3 at 3219 Sunset Ave.

Once complete, Currin’s mural paintings on the exterior of the newly restored building will consist of the fountain at City Lake, the former Rocky Mount steamer, the Helen P. Gay Historic Train Station and a firefighter going up a ladder.

Scarlette Bennett, owner and group benefits specialist of The New Team Insurance Services, said as a person who loves art, she wanted something that would make the building stand out.

“I love decorating and I’m very much a visual person,” Bennett said. “I thought with that building being brown, something came to me that made me want to do a mural. I wanted to do something that identifed Rocky Mount and would draw attention. Since Lorah, being out there working on the mural, there have been several people that like to pull in the parking lot and see what’s going on.”

Before finding out about Currin, Bennett first made a call to N.C. Wesleyan College that followed up by calling Currin’s mother, who is an art teacher at Faith Christian School and who also does the drawings for the scenery for Wesleyan’s drama plays. 

Currin’s mother informed Wesleyan that she has a daughter who could draw. Bennett made contact with Currin, who said she was excited about the opportunity.

Bennett said they both are helping each other because Currin needs to do a mural for her portfolio and she was looking for someone locally that could do a painting on the new building.

“I’m just grateful to have the chance to showcase my talent,” Currin said. “This is my first mural drawing so I want to do my best.”

Even though Currin is still a few weeks from completing the mural, Bennett and her staff of the New Team Insurance Services moved into the 4,480-square-foot building that was once the former First Union Bank building this past weekend. The insurance company’s former 2,198-square-foot building was also off Sunset Avenue.

Bennett has worked in the insurance industry for 20 years and for 12 years has been the owner of New Team Insurance Services, which is an independent insurance agency that works with more than 35 local and national insurers.

The company offers several employee benefits, which include group health, group vision, group dental and group life insurance and individual benefits such as health, commercial, life, long-term care and property and casualty insurance. Bennett said the company has a 95 percent client retention rate, with clientele in Asheville, the mountains and along the coast in addition to clients in the Twin Counties.

Bennett said she was looking for a bigger space but didn’t want to leave Sunset Avenue. It just so happened that after returning from lunch one day, she saw that the building was up for sale and jumped to make an offer to the owner.

With the building being a former bank, Bennett plans to utilize the drive-thru feature to make life easier for her customers.

“We have a drive-thru, which I don’t think any insurance companies in Rocky Mount have,” Bennett said. “We have a lot of people that make payments and out of those people we have a lot of people that have canes and walkers. Now, they won’t have to neccessarily have to get out and come into the building to make a payment.”